The number of legislations pushing for universal web and electronic accessibility is rising in the United States and around the globe. For example, the Rehabilitation Act’s Section 508 is a leading issue in the United States, and while some people might be aware of what it entails, they might be unaware of who it affects and how to comply. Luckily, there are diversabilty service providers that can guide you on this.

What Is Section 508?

Section 508 is an amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that mandates information and communications technology, or ICT, used by government agencies to be accessible to people with disabilities. That covers not only the disabled individuals who work for federal agencies but also every individual who uses such services. This implies that all publications used by federal agencies, including papers, apps, training material, and software, must meet the accessibility requirements of Section 508.

Who Does Section 508 Apply To?

Section 508 of the U.S. Code requires that any legal organizations operating under the government’s authority comply with section 508. This includes all federal agencies. Any organization that transacts business with a federal agency, including contractors who generate ICT materials for government agencies, must also comply with Section 508 of the statute. This is because government agency procurement teams mainly take accessibility into account when offering tenders or contracts to businesses. 

Institutions that receive federal funding must also abide by the rules of section 508. These organizations, such as agencies, non-profits, public education programs, etc., must ensure that every piece of information they disclose is entirely accessible by all standards. The materials covered in section 508 consist of mobile apps, websites, most digital media, and kiosks.

Even though you may not be legally bound to comply with section 508, as a business, your wish is to have many people access your website or digital resources. 508 compliance makes this easy for you as you can also reach people with disabilities.

How to Achieve Section 508 Compliance

Conforming to WCAG

Adhering to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG is the best approach to guarantee that your ICT is accessible. Although WCAG is not a law, it is the industry benchmark for web accessibility. In actuality, Section 508 assesses accessibility using WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards.

Perform an accessibility audit

It’s crucial to assess how accessible your ICT and digital assets are right now. A formal review of your assets called an accessibility audit allows technical professionals to find 508 compliance-related accessibility issues.

Implement remediation

After auditing your digital assets, the next step is resolving any accessibility problems discovered. Prioritize the issues that provide the most significant hurdles to your user experience. 

Implement training

Training employees inaccessible best practices and formalizing your accessibility program and processes are crucial steps in preventing accessibility roadblocks in the future. In addition, producing your assets with accessibility in mind helps ensure that accessibility is embedded into design and development processes by default, decreasing the labor associated with remediation in the future.

Work with an accessibility partner

508 Compliance is attainable with the appropriate information and resources, but partnering with an expert goes a long way in simplifying the process. Diversabilty service providers collaborate with clients to conduct accessibility audits, rank issues for prompt correction, and implement accessibility training.

Applied Development Offers 508 Compliance Services

Applied Development can assist your institution in meeting the 508 compliance requirement. We offer 504/508 disability compliance services, which include reader services, CART transcription, and sign language interpretation. 

Our team will assist you whether you are looking into 508 compliance to improve your user experience or you have a legal need to comply. Call us at 410.571.4016 or contact us online to learn how we can help your organization.